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Zoning Law For Tourism Approved

The Greek Government Committee recently approved the controversial planned zoning law for tourism despite reactions of environmentalists, hoteliers and civil engineers.

Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works Minister Yiorgos Souflias said the zoning law is a significant structural intervention for the development of an extremely important sector of the economy (i.e. tourism).

Mr. Souflias reminded that the legislation aims towards the environmental development of tourist areas and the support of the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product.

He also underlined that particular emphasis has been given to the protection of forests and woodlands where tourist establishments are prohibited and to the protection of agricultural land of high productivity.

As for the “accusations” that the planned zoning law for tourism paves the way for the “concretization” of holiday resorts, Mr. Souflias said that they are “incredibly inaccurate.

“The law does not extend the possibilities of building tourist facilities in areas that up until now were prohibited but sets restrictions and certain conditions for their development,” he said.

The controversial legislation was rejected in February by the National Zoning Council, an advisory council appointed to assess its impact on the environment.

On the government’s side, the zoning law for tourism is considered final and is to be published in the Government Gazette.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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